Sunday, February 17, 2008

Little victories where you can get them

So I bit the bullet this week (well, last week) and joined Garageband. Actually, I re-joined -- I had submitted a few tracks from our first album, Hardcore, way back in 2001, but because that was such a (relatively) long time ago (and because I "dropped out" of the Garageband scene shortly afterwards), I had to create a fresh account for the new stuff I'll be submitting. Hence the distinction between The Industrial Jazz Group and Industrial Jazz Group (yeah, I know, I should probably fix that at some point).

You can still read the reviews we got for the two Hardcore tracks I submitted: "Plus or Minus Eleven" and "Cozy 'n Tooty". They're kind of, well, funny. (For some reason the word "cute" pops up a lot, which I don't understand, but nevertheless find amusing.) Of course, you can also listen to the songs if you've never heard them.

This go-round, I've started with "The Job Song." Which, now that I think about it, allows me to do an unscientific comparison of the promotional usefulness of Garageband and Amie Street (where I uploaded the same tune a short while back -- as described here).

My first impression is that although both sites rely on user reviews, Garageband (which is, incidentally, connected to the "social music discovery service" iLike, and is the brainchild of ex-Talking Head Jerry Harrison) provides more tangible evidence that people are actually interacting with your work (and of course that's useful from the standpoint of getting to know your audience). This is possibly because the metaphor for Amie Street is "store" -- it is essentially a warehouse for MP3s, where prices are determined by demand (which is in turn reflected in user recommendations, or RECs -- all of these sites simply must have their own lexicon, I guess). So far "The Job Song" has received only one "REC" at Amie Street -- which may partly be because I have done very little to actually promote it on the site. But it may also be because of the site metaphor. I have no doubt that the folks who use the site are passionate music fans, but the M.O. seems less-than-urgent: users are simply browsing an online store.

In contrast, the metaphor for Garageband is "contest," with all of the trappings that entails: charts, the possibility for negative and positive reviews (remember, Amie Street only allows "recommendations"), a comparatively elaborate protocol for reviewing, and "prizes" like "track of the day."

Which, incidentally, is what "The Job Song" is going to be tomorrow (on the jazz page).

I don't know if that little accomplishment means anything beyond the (possibly lucky) fact that our first three reviews were pretty good (and also humorous -- apparently I should be writing musicals), but it does feel nice.


mrl24 said...

Great to see such a nice response on Garageband! I signed up for both sites and I like both for different reasons. Have to say that I'm more than a little psyched to be able to join you fine folks at the end of March. If there's anything you need us to bring etc. - as always, please don't hesitate to ask!

Andrew Durkin... said...

Hey Matt -- very cool that you can make it in March! Your presence always helps thing go more smoothly (and is always greatly appreciated)...

Apparently, in addition to the "track of the day" thing, we also got "Best Female Vocals" (hooray for Jill!) and "Most Original" in the GB jazz charts for this week.

Wow, it's almost like the grammys! Except not really...